I was five years old when I attended my first musical. It was a Lyric Theatre performance of West Side Story, and I was captivated. Every movement, every note, everything about the production stole my attention. Halfway through the first act, I made my decision. I leaned over to my mom and said:
“I want to do this for the rest of my life.“
That was it. Although I still believed in Santa Claus, I had decided how the rest of my life would go. I immediately dove in, performing at church productions (many written by my mom — great way to get cast!), and started training. By age 12 I had an agent and was training with great coaches, auditioning all the time and flying to LA each spring with my mom and agent for pilot season.
ArtsNash is delighted to feature articles from our partner The Clyde Fitch Report. The contributors to CFR cast their journalistic eyes on the worlds of arts and politics. Shane Jewell is the author of the preceding article. He is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma City Ballet. Previous to this, he was the Executive Director for the OK MOZART International Music Festival. Before his time at OK Mozart, Jewell worked at Celebrity Attractions in Tulsa presenting National Touring Broadway shows to eight markets in the Midwest. During his tenure there he handled several roles such as: Company Manager, Technical Director and Advertising Director. He also was the Company Manager and Stage Manager for the national touring musical, The Rock & The Rabbi. Jewell currently serves on the Education and Programming Committee for Oklahoma Contemporary and is a member of the Oklahoma Presenters Network. Follow The Clyde Fitch Report on Facebook and Twitter.
*Image courtesy The Clyde Fitch Report.